Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2019 Day 8: Luck Of the Dice

By Robin de Voh on 2019-10-15

"I want to sneak around and hit them from the back, if I can," John said.
"Alright, that's a sneak roll, so go ahead," Remy said from behind her laptop screen.

John picked up a die and let out a deep sigh. His character was good at sneaking, but his rolls had been terrible all night. He couldn't fail this one. Of the party, 2 were already down, Eilyra the ranger and Arlos the priest, and Loris the fighter wasn't holding up much longer by himself. He himself was almost down as well, but he had some tricks left to turn the tide with. If he could sneak around and take out the evil wizard, they had an actual shot at coming back.

If not... Well, he'd better not mess up this roll.

He rolled the die around in his hand before clenching it in his fist. Everyone around the table was quietly waiting.

He rolled and the die bounced off the table and onto the game board. It rolled and eventually settled, which took longer than John had wanted.

"I can't look," he said, cradling his head in his hands. "Somebody else look!"

Lucas, who played the fighter, looked at the die, gasped and then looked immediately back at John.

"You bastard," he said breathlessly.
"What?" John said, looking up shocked.
"You rolled amazingly!" Lucas said with a grin.

Remy leaned over and saw the result.

"What's your bonus?" she asked John.
"15," John said coolly, still not knowing for sure what he'd rolled.
"You make it," Remy said with a smile. "Easily. What do you want to do?"

John sighed again, this time in relief.

"Okay, so, in the chaos of the fight, our adversaries believe they've gotten us beat, right? Eilyra and Arlos are down, and Loris is the only one still actively fighting. They don't pay attention to me just long enough for me to crawl up to and onto to the balcony above."

The other players were smiling. This was going to be good for all of them.

"Go on, you rolled well enough that all of this is fine," Remy said, nodding.
"So after I get on the balcony I quickly -- but quietly -- make my way around, towards the stairs. The evil wizard is still at the bottom of the stairs?"
"He is, and it seems he's preparing to cast a spell that may very well be the end of the fighter, as well as the minions he's fighting."
"Alright, then I want to sneak down the stairs and stab the wizard in the back. Repeatedly if possible."

Remy checked some things and rolled a die of her own, unseen to any of the players.

"Okay, go ahead. Make an attack."

John stood up and grabbed his die. It had treated him well this last roll, so obviously his luck had turned.

"Here goes nothing," he said quietly.

He rolled and it bounced off the table, off the game board and onto the ground.

"Reroll!" Lucas said as he leaned over to pick it up.
"Wait!" John said. "I've got a good feeling about this. Can I use the roll as-is?" he said as he looked at Remy.

Remy turned to Lucas.

"You've seen the result?" she asked him.
"Nope," Lucas said, sitting back up.
"And you're sure?" she asked John.

He looked at the other players, none of which were sure of how to respond either. Lucas shrugged, implying he didn't know either.

"Yes. I'm sure," he eventually said. "I want to use the roll."
"Then it is decided. Pick it up, Lucas," Remy said, smiling.

Lucas leaned over and picked up the die. He looked at the result and put it on the table.

"You utter bastard," he said as he shot John a glance.
"Yes!" John shouted and threw his fist in the air.
"No, you bastard, you missed completely!" Lucas said, teeth clenched.
"What?" John said, looking shocked.

He looked at the die. It said '1' very clearly.

"I," John stammered, "I do half damage on a miss, right? And it was a sneak attack?"
"Ah," Remy said, shaking her head. "It would have been if he hadn't noticed you."
"But I sneaked successfully!"
"And this wizard has heightened senses, so he could make an additional notice check. I rolled, and he did notice you."

John let himself fall back down in his chair with a thump. He let his head fall back.

"So now what?" he said, exasperated.
"You still do half damage," Remy said. "Just without the sneaking bonus."
"Will it be enough to take him out?"
"Not by a long shot," she said.

The damage John did hurt the wizard but didn't stop him. The fire storm he was casting took out Loris and the minions he'd been fighting. Now it was just him and the wizard.

Afterwards, the wizard turned towards John's character -- Rylen -- and smirked.

"Want to try again?" he said, smugly.

John sighed as the others looked at him annoyed. He avoided their gazes.

"Because I've got a lot more magic to hurt you with," the wizard said evilly, as he lowered his gaze and cracked his fingers.

John wasn't going to win this fight.